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It is a wish fit for a princess as brave Irish 4-year-old, Alisha Savage, who is battling a rare form of cancer left her home in Quincy, MA in the wee hours of September 26 for an unforgettable trip to Disney World thanks to Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
A native of Glanmire, Co.Cork, Alisha, was diagnosed in 2012, with a rare childhood cancer known as Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT).
This type of cancer is so unique only 1 in every 1.1 million children suffers with the condition.
Alisha underwent life-saving surgery in Dublin to remove a quarter of the tumor from her brain stem, but the risks associated with trying to surgically remove the rest of the tumor were too high.
Her parents were given the devastating news that their daughter’s survival was very low and it was suggested that they return home and make Alisha comfortable.
Following extensive research, John and Michelle opted instead to travel to America to the renowned Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston to increase Alisha’s chances of survival.
After months of fundraising, the Savage’s relocated to Massachusetts at the start of 2014 and thanks to an outpouring of support from the local community in Boston, the family hasn’t looked back.
Alisha has been undergoing months of pioneering treatment since her arrival in the city and it seems to be working.
“They did an MRI and the disease is still active but it seems to be under control” John explained.
However, an unexpected bleed in her spine has meant an unexpected break to her cancer treatment whilst Doctors try to relieve the pressure on her spinal cord.
“It’s a set back but also; it has given her some time to heal” John said.
“Thankfully, she was given the go-ahead for the trip.”
The trip is part of Alisha’s dream to be a princess and visit Disneyland, a wish that has been granted and organized by Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island and co-hosted by American Airlines Something mAAgic Foundation’s mAAgicSM flight.
“They have done everything right from the start and they have been amazing,” John remarked.
This occassion marks a milestone for Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island as the young Irish girl’s fairytale trip will be the 7000th wish they have granted since they began in 1987.
Chief Executive Officer of Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Charlotte Beattie said “We are so grateful to the something mAAgic Foundation and American Airlines for their partnership in fulfilling Alisha’s wish.”
“We extend our deepest gratitude to all of our generous supporters who have enabled us to reach this significant milestone in providing joyful wish experiences to thousands of seriously ill children throughout the community.”
Princess Alisha received her princess suitcase, clothes and toys earlier in the week and along with her parents and her baby sister Emma Louise were given the full “Royal” treatment as a limousine escorted by a Police motorcade brought them to Logan Airport for their morning flight to Florida. The Savage family where met at the American Airlines terminal by a large group of cheering fans and a princess welcome committee.
The fairy-tale continued as Alisha’s departure gate was transformed into a castle where the brave Irish girl was treated to a personalized welcome announcement both at the gate and on the plane. And no princess could fly without a royally decorated seat on the aircraft.
The family received a water salute by Massport Fire Department before their flight departed.
After arriving in Disney World, Alisha will be treated to the vacation of her dreams and meet her favorite princesses including Snow White and Cinderella.
The family who are” very excited” about their week away in Florida will be regularly updating their social media pages including their Facebook page for anyone wishing to follow Alisha on this trip of a lifetime.
In addition, Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island has created a “7,000 Wishes!” e-card for Alisha that can be viewed and signed by well wishers and supporters across the globe.